Like any shooting sport, from real steel to paintball to archery–you need target practice time to be really truly proficient.
Fortunately, airsoft is one of the more affordable sports to practice with (After all, real steel can run you anywhere between a few cents to a few bucks a shot, and arrows ain’t cheap), and with a little DIY energy, it can be even cheaper!
Today, we’re going to share how you can make your own airsoft practice targets at home, and save you a few bucks–or at least, a trip to the store or waiting for FedEx to bring your Amazon Prime’d targets to your door.
Got your glue gun? Sharpie? Let’s hit it!
Types of Airsoft Targets
Pretty much, if you can shoot at it, you have a target. Tin cans on fence posts, cardboard boxes with targets drawn on in marker… We’ve used a lot of different objects as targets. And they all work! But there definitely are advantages to certain types of targets, so let’s talk about that.
First up–plain ol’ plinking targets. Think cans, bottles, and other such nonsense. Pros: easy to find, super cheap, and you can probably rescue it out of your trashcan. Cons: say goodbye to your BBs, because they’re going everywhere, and tracking your hits is a little difficult.
Still, if you’ve got nothing else, it’s a great start. Just mind what lies beyond your targets, so you don’t accidentally shoot Dad as he’s mowing the lawn or something.
Next–sticky targets. Like a pest trap, these targets are sticky, so BBs get stuck to the surface of the target, making it easy to call your shots and reuse your BBs. The downside, your sticky surface may leave residue on your BBs, and EVERYTHING will get stuck to it.
Finally, our favorite type of targets–trap targets. As you can imagine, the main benefit of these targets is that they catch your BBs, so you can easily reuse them when you’re all done.
They take a few forms, depending on how you want to construct them. Some use a net behind the target to keep your BBs all together, while others use a padded box to corral them all together. They’re easy to make and you can find dozens of builds for them online to get you started.
Making Your Own Airsoft Targets
As we mentioned, getting a target can be as easy as rescuing a bottle from the recycling bin, but if you want to make a cool trap target that keeps you from buying BBs over and over just to practice, we’ve got you.
In our experience, a simple sheet of printer paper is great for the target portion of the assembly. You can print out a target or draw it–whatever works for you.
You’re going to also need a cardboard box that is somewhat large (think about the size of a microwave), some old towels, blankets, or pillows for padding, packing tape or duct tape, and a staple gun with staples.
Set up the cardboard box in the orientation you’re going to want it in–so that the target surface is facing forward. On the opposite side of the box from the target surface, you’ll want to secure your padding material to the inside of the box. When the BB passes through the target, it’ll cross the box and hit the padding.
Use staples to secure the padding so that it won’t slip around when shooting or moving the target.
On the target surface side, you’ll want to cut a hole in the box, leaving a few inches of lip on every side so that your BBs don’t escape. When it’s time to practice, you’ll tape your target over this hole.
Tape the box closed, and plink away! When it’s time to empty it out, take the paper target off, tip it over a large container (like a salad bowl) and shake the BBs out carefully. Now you’ve recovered your BBs, and you’re ready to do it all over again!
Storing Your Targets
Obviously, DIY targets like this one aren’t super weather friendly, so it’s a good plan to keep them under shelter when you’re not using them. In the garage, in a shed, or in your closet is just fine–you just don’t want it to get wet and soggy or blow away in the wind.
Making your own targets can be a fun way to pass an afternoon, and many airsofters have used these time-honored methods to perfect their shots, break in new guns, and make adjustments, and just blast away without breaking the bank.
If you don’t have all your supplies on hand, you can usually ask retail stores if they have any spare boxes, thrift blankets or pillows for padding, and secure it all with some creativity. These targets are dirt cheap to make, but will end up saving you a ton of money on BBs in the long run.
Have you ever made your own airsoft targets? How did you make yours? Share with us in the comments! Don’t forget to check out airsofting on a budget for other money-saving tips!